The Gift of Motherhood

 In Articles, Pastor's Notes, Pastor's Notes-Fr. Ritche

May is such a special month for me because I remember the day when I prostrated on the sanctuary of the Cathedral-Basilica of St. Joseph, made a promise of obedience to the bishop, and said yes to the priesthood of Christ. But my ordination day was somewhat bittersweet because my mother was not present because of illness. I am sure she wanted to be there, but it was just not possible.


Mom died 15 years ago, and lately, I have been thinking about her a lot. Maybe it’s because we are approaching Mother’s Day. Allow me to share a little about my mother. My mother received a bachelor’s degree in education. However, she was not able to practice being a teacher because soon after graduation, she married my father. They were married for about 16 years until my father died in 1981. At 35, Mom became a widow with four children. It wasn’t easy for her. She had to make ends meet. She managed a little store in front of our house which provided her with the resources to raise her children. Mom was not perfect, but I must say she was a good mother. She gave us everything that was important: love, security, protection, support, a sense of being wanted, a sense of feeling precious, adequate food, adequate clothing, the underlying sense that life is good, and, most of all, that we are always in the hands of a God who is nothing, but love.


In one of his articles, Fr. Ronald Rolheiser reminds us that “our mothers are our symbiotic link to life. They have to let us know that the universe wants us, that we are lovable simply for whom we are, that love doesn’t have to be earned.”


This weekend, we celebrate Mother’s Day. This is a wonderful opportunity for us to pause and reflect on our own mothers. We all agree each mother is different. But they mother us in the best way they can, and they love us, each of us, uniquely. Study shows that, in the womb, the mother’s voice is recognized by the child and that a special bond between mother and child is established. It even proves that newborn’s brains respond strongly to mother’s voice and shows that the mother’s voice is special to babies.


As we honor mothers this weekend, we thank God for the gift of these women. Their support, care, and love are experiences of God’s tenderness for all of us. I am sure my mother would agree with me when I say I was not the easiest child to care for. Remember, I was a rascal! But she loved me to the best of her ability, and I thank her for that.


On behalf of Fr. John and the parish and school staff, Happy Mother’s Day! And thank you to all mothers including those who have assumed the responsibility of a mother to others.

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